The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team’s run towards a national championship ended after a single round tonight, as the team fell to No. 9 Catholic University at the Raymond A. DuFour Center in Washington, DC, as part of First Round action of the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament, 67-61. The home Cardinals (26-3) will move on to the Round of 32 against No. 8 Williams College next Saturday, while the Dolphins finalized their season at 22-6.
The Dolphins grabbed the first lead of the game, and held a modest two point lead after the game’s first two minutes on Dylan Bulger and Jonathan Chadwick-Myers buckets. But the Cardinals, and namely, Bryson Fonville, went on a mini 5-0 run to put Catholic ahead, 7-4, a lead it would ultimately hold on to for virtually the entire half.
CSI cut the lead to one on three occasions before a three by Chadwick Myers was able to tie the score, 16-16, at the 11:42 mark of the first half. Chadwick-Myers would end up scoring 16 of the Dolphins’ first 20 points. After the tie, however, the Cardinals again assumed control. A Shawn Holmes open-look three and a Dan Elliot jumper staked the home unit to another five-point lead.
In a recurring theme of the half, CSI again cut away but failed to get over the hump. A transition lay-up by Kevin King and another Chadwick-Myers jumper put CSI to within one again, 25-24, with 4:38 to go, but Catholic responded with a 6-0 run, which included four-straight Holmes’ points to give the Cardinals their biggest lead 31-24 with 4:24 left.
CSI had the last laugh of the half, finishing on a 12-5 run, which included two lay-ins by Matt Van Manen to knot the score at 36-36, going into intermission.
The teams traded baskets to open up the second frame until another Chadwick-Myers jumper and then a Bulger lay-up gave CSI their first lead of the early stages, 45-43, with 14:48 to go. The lead, however, would not last long, as Catholic countered quickly with a 15-3 run that spanned the next six minutes to give the Cardinals a commanding 58-48 edge. The run was highlighted by three straight Holmes jumpers. To add to the frustrations, CSI’s Bulger and Javon Cox were hit shortly after with their fourth personal fouls, and CSI’s Bloochy Magloire, the team’s leading scorer, was busy nursing an injury on the sidelines, leaving most of CSI’s offensive production on the season sidelined for several minutes.
Still, CSI refused to quit, and slow but sure, the team was able to rally. A Cox freebie and another Van Manen transition score narrowed the Catholic lead to seven, and then Magloire came back in to nail a three to cut the lead to 59-54 with 6:38 to go. After two straight Catholic turnovers, Cox converted his first basket of the evening to narrow the lead further at 59-56.
The Dolphins got even closer and had a chance to pull the game out in the later stages. After a pair of CU free-throws, Magloire bagged another trey to cut the lead to 61-59 with 2:17 left. Then, with1:54 left, Nate Koenig missed a three and CSI raced the other way, Javon Cox had his chance, splitting a pair of CU defenders but putting a lay-up too hard off of the glass, giving the ball back to CU. Cox was spilled to the hardwood on the play but did not get the call. Koenig missed another jumper the other way and again down by two, CSI had possession. This time Magloire drove hard down the lane, but the junior was whistled for a charge and the Cardinals were given possession again, with 53 ticks to go. With 33 seconds to play, Koenig finally hit paydirt at the free-throw line, making both, to make the score 63-59. Down to virtually one more gasp, CSI put the ball in Chadwick-Myers’ hands,and the hot-shooting guard this time misfired from short range, and with under 20 seconds left, CSI was forced to foul, and the Cardinals made good via the line to seal the 67-61 win.
CSI Head Coach Tony Petosa was disenchanted with the loss. “We played hard but we didn’t necessarily play smart or play well,” he said. “We let some opportunities pass us by and we let this game slip away. It was frustrating. We accomplished a lot this year and we could have had this one.”
For Catholic, the team finished just 22-57 from the field, good for 38.6%, led by Koenig’s 19 points and 9 rebounds. Holmes was impressive with 17 points, while Fonville posted 12 points. Plagued by foul trouble, CU leading scorer Chris Kearney was held to eight points and three rebounds in 21 minutes. CSI won the rebounding battle, 42-39, connecting on 41.3% from the field (26-63). The team, however, was plagued by terrible free-throw shooting, connecting on just 4-13 from the line (30.8%). The team was led by Chadwick-Myers’ 21 points, while Magloire added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. Bulger added 10 points in just 19 minutes, while Van Manen was impressive with six points and eight rebounds.
CSI finishes its season at 22-6, seeing their season-long seven game win skein snapped. Their 47 wins over the last two seasons are the most ever in back-to-back seasons in CSI men’s basketball history.